“Me and you, Tommy”
We pick up exactly where last week left off, Tommy being followed in slow pursuit by the Mafia and with a knowing look into the rear view mirror we know that our anti-hero is in on Polly’s plan. What follows is an epic, noisy opening few minutes of, let’s face it, very badly aimed gunfire. There’s more shots here than in the last half hour of Hot Fuzz as Tommy and Luca rampage through a housing estate.
Riveting though it most definitely is, it does raise some questions. Why did Changretta and his gang not carry out the deed on a quiet road en route rather than wait for the final destination? Why did Tommy not seek back up from either the Blinders or the gypsies to help him take on the hit squad? Is his death wish so strong? Hey, who cares, it looks amazing. There’s a murder committed through a white bed sheet and everything. An unlikely advertisement deal with Ariel is but a phone call away (“Killed someone on your linen again? Try new Shelby All In One”). The duel doesn’t last very long because it is crudely interrupted by the police.
“I don’t drink whiskey or gin anymore”
Lizzie delivers the news of her pregnancy in typical matter of fact Lizzie fashion and Tommy takes to the news as if he’d just won a tenner. He has got the shakes though, bless. He did kill three people, not sure if he mentioned it.
While pregnancy is causing one person to tone down on their vices, the same can’t be said for Arthur who is getting carried away with the white powder and not the kind Tim Henman would happily promote. That combined with his drinking means he’s slipping down a very slippery slope and falling down a very still table. He calls for Linda to save him but frankly, the man may be beyond redemption. Full marks for Paul Anderson’s drunk acting, it was convincing enough to conjure up images of Delia Smith shouting on a football pitch.
“I know ways back that will take forever”
Much to Michael’s delight, Polly arranges a little holiday for him with the gypsies. The idea is that he’ll be off map and avoid detection. While the son is away the auntie will play as she soon starts locking lips with Aberama Gold. Inappropriate men indeed. They may be getting it on but Gold knows full well that if any harm comes to her child, then he won’t have the equipment to get it on much longer.
“You just made a deal without a negotiation, didn’t ya?”
There’s another face to face duel as Luca squares up to an Alfie who conveys much more menace than the man stood opposite, even with his eyes closed. The negotiations involve an indecent proposal of sorts. Alfie will hand Tommy over at the boxing match if Luca runs his alcohol into New York. We don’t get the outcome of this intriguing conversation, but where would the fun be in that?
“Tommy Shelby is going to stop the revolution with his cock”
The pesky C word pops up again – communism. Ada is taken in for questions by the military who have a keen interest in her political past. As with most things, Tommy is responsible. His wheeling and dealing climbs two further levels. Firstly, the military have offered him a lucrative contract and secondly, he reveals his plans to deceive and corrupt Jessie Eden for his own gain. Profit over principles. The very opposite of the socialist he once was.
They settle down for a dinner that wouldn’t have made the edit of First Dates. The tone is completely serious and worse still, Curly is the DJ. You can see Jessie’s guard falling by the wayside as Tommy works his charm once more but fair play, she doesn’t put out. Physically, at least anyway. In the end she does comes to an agreement she’ll soon regret.
“Take your bets”
And so to the ring and there’s nothing Peaky Blinders loves more than high octane drama around a boxing match. Out of the shadows Alfie appears in a blaze of mystery. Is he alone or did he strike a deal with Luca? The imagery of Tommy walking into the light suggests it’s actually a trap for the boys from New York. While the Mafia haven’t lived up to their early threat, next week’s finale still looks set to be an explosive, gory and satisfactory ending to the series and hopefully Changretta’s bloody toothpicks too. 8/10
Peaky Blinders Concludes Wednesday at 9.00pm on BBC Two.